Seven Different Urine Colours and What They May Mean

urine colour

Every human being makes urine. Not producing urine is a source of concern and should be investigated. It is a useful tool in diagnosing many medical conditions and this is why it is important to know what it says about your health

How does the Urine get Produced?

Normally, about 1,300mls of blood passes through the kidneys. The kidneys then excrete unwanted substances along with water from the blood as urine.

These waste products and excess water then travel down through the ureters, the tubes connecting your kidneys to your bladder, and are stored in your bladder until you get the urge to pee.

The normal urinary output for an adult ranges from 800ml/day to 2000ml/day. However, it is also dependent on factors like weight, fluid intake, and the weather.

How does the urine appear?

Clarity or turbidity refer to how clear the urine is. The appearance varies and it is determined by the presence of crystals, bacteria, protein, vaginal discharges, sperm, etc. It can be clear, cloudy, or turbid.

Foamy urine may indicate too much protein and when combined with other symptoms like swollen face or feet, it may be a marker for an underlying kidney disease

What is the normal colour?

Urine Colour Chart

The normal urine colour is due to a pigment known as urochrome. It varies based on concentration and chemical composition. It can range from pale light yellow to dark amber colour. Concentrated urine has a darker yellow appearance while a dilute one has a light yellow appearance.

Causes of Urine Discoloration

Urine colour may change due to medications, foods, and medical conditions, and here are a few examples;

  1. Red Discoloration:
  • Foods such as Beets, Blackberries, Rhubarb
  • Drugs such as Propofol, chlorpromazine, etc

2. Orange Colour:

  • Foods like Carrot, Vitamin C
  • Drugs used for tuberculosis treatment such as Rifampicin

3. Blue Discoloration:

  • Medications such as Methylene blue, amitriptyline, intravenous promethazine and, anti-ulcer drugs e.g intravenous cimetidine.
  • Medical conditions like Blue diaper syndrome

4. Purple Colour:

  • Presence of bacteria in the urine of an individual with a urethral catheter (Purple bag syndrome)

5. Brown Discoloration:

  • Food- Fava beans
  • Drugs- Metronidazole (flagyl), chloroquine, nitrofurantoin, drugs used for constipation such as senna
  • Medical conditions- Hepatobiliary disease i.e. diseases affecting the liver and gallbladder

6. Black Colour:

  • Medical Conditions such as Malignant melanoma which is a type of skin cancer

7. White Discoloration:

  • Drug e.g. Propofol
  • Medical Conditions like Phosphate crystals, pyuria (presence of pus cells)

In Summary,

The urine says a lot about your health. Therefore, care for your kidney by doing these things;

  • Stay hydrated
  • Drink about 2-3L of fluid daily
  • Avoid use of bleaching products as they can harm your kidney

If you have any unusual symptoms, do speak to a doctor about it so as to be assessed thoroughly

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